A beautiful mouth-watering South Indian Chicken Briyani recipe from Devagi Sanmugam which you must discover and try out for yourselves.  Its obvious you do not have to be an Indian to enjoy Indian food and its no longer uncommon for a non-Indian household to serve them.  I have cooked this many times for the family and we all love it very much and has become our favourite dish for Hari Raya and other gathering functions.

Perhaps you would like to try it yourselves and see how your family would love you for it.  Its quite a tedious task preparing it but its worth it, the end result is so satisfying and all your sweats and efforts seems to disappear when you see the happy faces of your loved ones enjoying this fantastic dish you have so lovingly prepared for them.  Trust me!


  • 1 chicken, about 2 kg (cut into pieces)
  • 1/2 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tsps ghee + 5 tabsps oil
  • 2 sticks cinnamon  
  • 5 cloves 
  • 5 cardamons 
  • 1 onion, sliced 
  • 5 cm piece ginger 
  • 15 cloves garlic
  • 5 red chillies
  • 10 green chillies
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tabsp grated coconut
  • A few sprigs coriander leaves, chopped
  • 5 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsps ground chilli
  • 2 tsps ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Enough salt
  • 100 g mint leaves


  1. Rub yoghurt over the chicken pieces and leave to marinate for about 15 minutes or longer.
  2. Blend together the ginger, garlic, red and green chillies onion and grated coconut with 1 cup of water.
  3. Heat oil and ghee.  Fry the cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamons and onion until fragrant.
  4. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for a while.
  5. Add all the blended ingredients, coriander leaves, tomatoes, ground chilli, coriander and cumin except the mint leaves and cook the chicken until almost dry.
  6. Add the mint leaves and cook for another 5 minutes.


  • I kg Basmathi rice, cleaned, washed and drained.
  • 2 tsps ghee
  • 3 stalks lemon grass, crushed
  • 5-10 pandan leaves, tied into a knot
  • 1/4 cup yoghurt
  • 5 1/4 cups water
  • 2 1/2 tsps salt
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 4 cardamons


  1. Heat ghee and fry the star anise, cinnamon stick and cardamons until fragrant.
  2. Add the rice and stir fry for a while.
  3. Transfer to rice cooker.  Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  4. Switch on rice cooker.  When rice is ready remove the spices and the herbs.


  • 1/2 cup boiling water with a little saffron or yellow colouring
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 4 tabsps rose water or 2 tsps rose essence
  • 3 tabsps melted ghee
  • A handful of mint leaves (for garnishing)
  • A few casherwnuts, fried in ghee (for garnishing)
  • A handful of raisins, fried in ghee (for garnishing)
  • A little fried onions or shallots (for garnishing)


  1. Remove two-thirds of the cooked rice from the rice cooker.
  2. Mix the saffron water, milk, rose water and the ghee together.  Sprinkle about one-third on the rice.
  3. Sprinkle with the garnishing ingredients and lay the chicken pieces over it.  Cover with more rice and repeat procedure.
  4. Switch on rice cooker and serve when rice is ready

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